Practice Areas



  • State Bar of Michigan, 1998
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1998


Michigan State University, J.D., Writing & Advocacy Honors, Dean’s List, 1998

University of Michigan, B.S. Nuclear Engineering (concentration in physics and mechanical disciplines), 1985

Photo of David A. Burns

David A. Burns

(248) 524-2300, ext. 3111

David Burns concentrates his practice on a wide range of intellectual property (IP) services including extensive domestic and international patent preparation and prosecution, prior art searching and opinions, transactions, and IP strategy development toward the protection and enforcement of IP assets.  He has more than 20 years of firm and in-house counsel experience with an additional 15 years of professional engineering experience including Ford Motor Company.  As a former attorney at Pratt & Whitney, a division of Raytheon Technologies, David provided all aspects of IP legal support for a multi-billion dollar aftermarket business segment.  This experience included the management of an extensive international IP portfolio; providing the legal support for a licensing department, drafting and negotiating a range of transactions including joint developments and M&A due diligence; developing IP strategies and leveraging proprietary technologies in accordance with business objectives; and, conducting extensive IP clearance activities while working closely with engineering groups.  He is competent in a broad range of technologies including electrical, electro-mechanical, mechanical, materials, and communications with particular emphasis on the aviation, automotive, and power systems industries.  David has a J.D. from Michigan State University, where he earned honors in Writing & Advocacy and was on the Dean’s List.  He has a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering with a concentration in physics and mechanical disciplines from the University of Michigan.  He is admitted to the State Bar of Michigan and is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Experience Highlights

Counsel, Cantor Colburn LLP, 2015-present

Of Counsel, O'Shea Getz P.C., 2013- 2015

IP Counsel, Pratt & Whitney, a division of UTC, 2007- 2013

Senior Attorney, Howard & Howard P.C.; and, Reising, Ethington, Barnes, Kisselle, Learman & McCulloch, P.C., 2000-2007

Program Design Engineer, Ford Motor Luxury Vehicle Center; and Advanced Test Methods Engineer, Ford Motor Powertrain and Fuel Systems Laboratory, 1990-2000

Product Test Engineer, Ford Motor Engine Laboratories Department, 1989-1990

Construction & Systems Engineer, Detroit Edison Co., Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Facility, 1985-1989


Professional Affiliations

Intellectual Property Owners Association, Corporate IP Management Committee Member